It is time for merciful immigration reform. The sojourner, the stranger, the widow, and the orphan are to be protected, not abused. Yesterday marks a moment we have been waiting for, as the Senate bill was adapted by the Senate Judiciary Committee, a first step in learning to love our neighbors.
"Who is my neighbor?" Jesus was asked. What are we to think of the stranger, the sojourner, the immigrant among us? The Samaritans were a hated and misunderstood class for being foreign and different--and Jesus consistently showed them kindness and compassion, and he welcomed them into the community. He told their stories. He made a Samaritan the hero and protagonist of a didactic parable, while making the proud and powerful appear as selfish and heartless.
If we today have trouble seeing how we are divided up into a nation that maintains Pharisees and hurts Samaritans in institutionally racist ways, we must step back and examine the world from a meditative distance. When we begin to identify modern-day Pharisees and Samaritans, then we will freely and gladly roll up our sleeves and get to work, writing, speaking, caring, advocating, and changing the world.
Passing merciful and long-awaited comprehensive immigration reform to maintain family unity is a step in the direction of loving our neighbors well. Let's lace up our boots and step forward in faith.